Instead of dedicating an entire blog post to one question over the next few weeks, I figure I would knock them all out in one shot with a Blog Tip Q&A (if you like the idea of a Q&A post please tell me in the comments). A lot of you had similar if not the same questions regarding Instagram and growing your following so that’s what we’ll focus on today.
Also, for the future make sure you include your blog URL or Instagram handle when you ask a question, otherwise I can only shout you out by name!
The #1 tip I can give you if you want to do things the right way is to have patience. If you want fast growth and success, it can be done but will only cost you in the long-run. You can buy followers, use a bot to comment on random people’s pictures, host loop giveaways but none of that can compete with the authentic engagement you get from growing organically. And in order to grow organically, you must have talent, strategy, and be interesting enough to keep people’s attention. Give them something they can’t get from anyone else.
And in order to grow organically, you must have talent, strategy, and be interesting enough to keep people’s attention. Give them something they can’t get from anyone else.
I’ll also throw in the fact that the more you engage authentically with your followers and the blogging community, the more you’ll get it back, but again the key is to be patient. Insta-success doesn’t happen overnight.
Liza says… I’m really confused about Instagram! It seems that it isn’t just the pretty pictures or posting frequency that grows your following. Maybe it’s the overall look of the grid? Does it have to be styled in a certain way (edited with the same VSCO preset) or something else?
Growing your Instagram following is a combination of things as I mentioned above. It’s not so much about having pretty pictures as it is that these “pretty pictures” are high-quality and consistent. You can have the prettiest pictures in the world but if they’re blurry with a ton of different filters on them, unfortunately, no one will care.
I see a lot of bloggers take out of focus, foggy pictures and I can’t understand why! It takes 5 seconds to clean your lens and focus on the subject. Take the time to produce quality work and you’ll get quality results.
You also want to stay consistent with your editing beyond a VSCO filter. Your poses, the angle from which the picture is taken, your style, the background, the lighting, etc. should all be similar and flow together. So yes Liza, your overall grid aesthetic definitely plays a part in whether or not someone hits the follow button.
Anne Rita asks… How can I make people more interested in reading my blog?
Do you have interesting content? People aren’t going to want to read the standard, run of the mill content. They want to read something with a fresh perspective.
Reading a blog goes beyond good writing. Your blog has to have a clean, easy to use layout, with beautiful, high-quality images. That doesn’t mean you need to have a professional photographer on deck with thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment, it just means you need to do the very best you can with what you have.
There are tons of successful bloggers and Instagram influencers out there who use their iPhones to take blog photos. I actually think they deserve the most credit for building a brand on a budget.
You have to learn how to tell your story in a way that draws people in and keeps them coming back for more. Everyone has a story to tell, it’s just a matter of how they choose to tell it. Like Kelly Cutrone says, “Normal gets you nowhere.”
Jandrew is… interested in getting Pinterest to work for a fashion blog.
I’ll be honest with you Jandrew, I’m not a Pinterest expert. However, from what I’ve seen and read, it can be very beneficial for bloggers because of the platform’s easy sharing capabilities. If I were you I would post every blog picture to your Pinterest from your actual blog so when people share it, it links back to your blog and not some weird archive site. This will help increase your traffic and get you loyal readers.
But like any other platform, you have to have “pin worthy” pictures in order for people to share them. Do you have a killer outfit you need to share? Is the picture high quality?
Catarina says… I’ve tried beauty giveaways and sometimes I get a lot of engagement but is there something else that I should do to increase my Instagram following?
Giveaways are great but they are only super effective if you have a large audience, otherwise, it will be slow growth and, like I mentioned above, you will need patience. Then there are loop giveaway options – the ones that say “Macbook or $1,000 cash giveaway!” and then you have to follow 100 other accounts. Honestly, I consider them spammy and a desperate attempt at getting followers (this is my own personal opinion BTW). However, you could get a ton of followers from loop giveaways depending who is in the loop, but a lot of them unfollow you once the giveaway is over.
I also consider loop giveaways a form of buying followers since you have to pay to participate. I refuse to do it, but some bloggers really like them because of the fast growth. Keep in mind, it’s fast but it’s not authentic and eventually, your engagement will drop to what it was before. Nothing beats authenticity. Money can’t buy a genuine liking for your blog/brand.
I will recommend partnering with a brand or blogger who has a similar following to yours in a giveaway. This a more legit way to attract new followers and it’s less obnoxious.
Otherwise, keep creating high-quality content, post at optimum times, engage with other people in the blogging community, and use appropriate hashtags and you will grow. Good stuff is good stuff and with the right strategy in place, success is super attainable.
Stephanie asks… How do I get more activity on my Instagram stories? I love that I can see how many people view them but how do I get those numbers up and more interaction through the stories?
Keep posting. You have to be a consistent Instastory “poster” to get your numbers up. You also have to be an excellent storyteller and keep your audience intrigued with what you’re doing/posting about. You should aim for a mix of promotional content around your blog and documenting your day-to-day routine (aka storytelling).
The more followers you have the higher your views will be as well but don’t expect all of them to watch your Instastory. 10-20% of your followers will actually watch and engage. That’s the standard response rate for anything you do… even 20% is pretty high.
Rachel asks… Do you have any tips for getting your content/post in front of new readers?
Collaborations/features. And I don’t mean brand collaborations, though they are great too. If you’re a beginner blogger you most likely won’t have a ton of brands knocking at your door so you want to collab with other bloggers in your field. You can do a #followfriday on Instagram or a Snapchat takeover or a blog post interview exchange with another fellow blogger.
You can also search for accounts/websites that often feature bloggers and reach out to them about a feature. Sometimes you will have to pay, other times it’s the luck of the draw but either way, you want to make sure your content is high quality because that will increase your chances of being featured.
This was SO fun and I hope this was helpful to you all in some way!
Was there anything I missed? Asked your question in the comments below for our second round of Q&As!
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